Things That Matter

Here Are 25 Of The Best Signs From Nationwide #MarchForOurLives Protests

Maggie R. Kleinow / Facebook

If you went to one of the 800+ #MarchForOurLives protests on Saturday, you were part of history in the making. It was organized entirely by the student survivors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seeing students and young children literally marching for their lives was a horror and an inspiration at the same time.

If you weren’t able to make it, no te preocupes. Here are some of the most iconic moments and signs from around the country.

Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in the nation’s capitol.

CREDIT: @marchforourlives / Instagram

Organizers say over 850,00 people showed up. If you think President Trump had to deal with this crowd, you’d be wrong. The president was in Florida avoiding the crowds.

Latinxs tell it like it is, como siempre.

CREDIT: @lgbt.saga_.support_ / Instagram

Here’s to hoping they both become less and less available. P.S. – This is coming to you from El Paso, Texas, alleged gun country.

We even brought our homeboy Jesús to try to get through to the gov’t.

CREDIT: @caffeinepdx / Instagram

I wanna say that most Latinos would get behind this message, and would definitely make sure your mom or abuelita never ever saw it. But they’d probably like it too.

Oh, and people hate the NRA.

CREDIT: @snippetsofboston / Instagram

Did we fail to mention that in the last page? People were furious with those gun-crazies. These are our lives on the line. Don’t tell me about your hobby.

Chicago was lit up with sass.

CREDIT: @stacejams / Instagram

Non-hispanic white men have carried out 63 percent of mass shootings over the last several decades. When that happens, it’s mental illness. If you’re brown, you’re a terrorist. #WhitePrivilege is in the headlines, folks.

Emma González inspired all the signs.

CREDIT: @laurenxdeutsch / Instagram

You know Emma González as one of the first students survivors from Parkland to passionately demand stricter gun control laws. Or, if you’re Iowa Rep Steve King, you might see her Cuban Pride patch and think (and then say), “Communist!”

The truth is González is inspiring students all the way in Seattle to become activists.

CREDIT: @francinescottphoto / Instagram

González’s activism automatically extends to her appearance. It’s pretty sickening to learn that Republican Maine House candidate Leslie Gibson called the teenage survivor a “skinhead lesbian” because he “cares about the Constitution.” K. We can thank González for staying strong and dragging another Republican out of the race to represent us in the House.

Gun control heated up some #WomensMarch debates.

CREDIT: @prettybirdjulie / Instagram

I mean, verdad ^, Denver. Why is that? Maybe because there are more NRA-corrupt politicians in office than actual women.

The most traumatic sightings were of some very young children holding signs.

CREDIT: @denisecrew / Instagram

Here in LA, this young boy literally holds up his own two hands to deliver el mensaje: NI UNO MÁS #marchforourlives ✊?✊?✊?✊?

“Kids Rule, Guns Drool”

CREDIT: Mary Norman Gilpin Hudson / Facebook

Adios, el corazón. It breaks my heart to see children carrying these signs. Meanwhile this is in Palm Beach, where Trump goes to procrastinate his presidential duties and golf.

Could you imagine being afraid to go to school? ?

CREDIT: @peopleandscapes / Instagram

Poetry:

“No guns

no guns no gun

no guns in school

no guns in school

no gun in school.”

Meanwhile in Amsterdam…

CREDIT: @marchforourlivesnl / Instagram

OK, fam, let’s move to the Netherlands. I’m rallying Latinos. Let’s do it for real. We’re known for our survival skills and this is the solution, estoy segura.

Nevermind. We gotta stay for the kids in Long Beach, California.

CREDIT: @marchforourliveslb / Instagram

This is our fight, and fighting is in our DNA. Register to vote and then vote for politicians that are not bought out by the NRA.

“Sorry for the inconvenience. We are trying to change the world.”

CREDIT: @marchforourlivesak / Instagram

True story: polls show that 75 percent of Americans want more gun control laws. Now we need to vote like we mean it.

People even turned out in Alaska, a pretty gun-heavy state.

CREDIT: @marchforourlivesak / Instagram

“Keegan Blain, 17 year-old Dimond High School junior // “It doesn’t matter if we are conservative or liberal, a Democrat or a Republican. There isn’t anything more important than protecting innocent lives that will soon propel our nation into the future.” #marchforourlives #marchforourlivesak”

 Austin, Texas kids say the darndest things.

CREDIT: @rachelrose094 / Twitter

I can’t tell if she’s #MomOfTheYear or is just happy that it’s not her kid calling the world assholes. Either way, this is a new kind of teenage rebellion, kid, and I’m here for it.

Teachers got loud this weekend.

CREDIT: @kareng651 / Instagram

ICYMI, President Trump wants teachers to carry guns. That’s his solution to the mass shooting epidemic: Bring more guns into schools. I like this protestor’s solution a lot better.

Oh, and teachers aren’t fans of President Trump’s ideas either.

CREDIT: @artistsforactionchicago / Instagram

Other signs noted: “Give teacher’s higher wages to teach, not to return fire.” I trust you girl.

#PosterArt you can only find in Orlando, Florida.

CREDIT: @designs_by_robert / Instagram

My second home, and more widely known as the home to the largest ever mass shooting against LGBTQ Latinos in Pulse Nightclub, the signs seen in Orlando, Florida carried a lot of passion behind them. ?

Dreamers in Atlanta, Georgia:

CREDIT: @elyserosem / Instagram

For Dreamers, this is about creating an America that we can survive in. Political activism is the best way to show you love your country, imho.

#MFOL Mantra: “Enough is Enough.”

CREDIT: Maggie R. Kleinow / Facebook

I can’t imagine how heartbreaking it must have been to create this sign, and draw the faces of school shooting victims. Ultimately, it isn’t about some ideological debate. It’s about each of these victims, piling on top of one another without any retribution or change. #EnoughisEnough

In places like Bozeman, Montana, there were counter protests.

CREDIT: Faye Dalton Craig‎ / Facebook

People actually went against these kids to “March for Our Guns.” Just shows that there are always two sides in each debate.

And then there was a Parkland, Florida rally.

CREDIT: @EdWeekMMolnar / Twitter

“She was shot on 2/14. Today she will speak to thousands in Parkland.” ?

Parkland student wisdom right here:

CREDIT: Eyoälha Eyoälha Eyoälha / Facebook

Are we not collectively disgusted by the amount of standardized testing we went through that can go completely out the window in a single second? Because all you need is proof that you’re 18 to buy an assault weapon.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are not giving up the fight for gun reform.

CREDIT: @marchforourlivesparkland / Instagram

This includes fighting for every other victim of gun violence, including Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Renisha McBride, Tamir Rice. Find out how you can keep the fight going at MarchForOurLives.com.

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Things That Matter

ICE Is Taking Advantage Of Migrants Who Can’t Read Or Write In Their Court Proceedings

Sandy Huffaker / Sandy Huffaker

Last summer, images of undocumented immigrant children went viral. These images didn’t show them crying, or being taken away from their parents. These children were pictured alone in court. The nameless children had no one by their side, no one to represent them, and had no clue what was going on, despite the fact that they were there trying to seek asylum. In some cases, these children wore headphones as a means to translate what the judge was saying. However, given that they were just children, the translation was almost useless. Reports are now servicing that immigration officials are using the language barrier as a means to keep them out of the U.S. 

An op-ed, written by a volunteer at the border, states that asylum-seeking immigrants cannot read or write in English or in their native tongue and immigration officials are taking advantage of that.

Emily Reed, a recent grad student from Barnard University, wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post that stated she witnessed this manipulation from immigration officials against illiterate undocumented people. Reed was at the border in Texas volunteering with classmates at the South Texas Family Residential Center volunteering with the Dilley Pro Bono Project when she witnessed this manipulation. 

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection often conveniently exploit asylum seekers who cannot read. Along with an unfamiliarity with our deliberately complex immigration system, the illiteracy of Central American migrants, especially women, facilitates the deportation of parents and separation of families,” Reed wrote. She added, “By manipulating illiterate refugees who often unwittingly sign away their rights, the U.S. government is violating the basic tenets of the internationally recognized and protected right to seek asylum.” 

Reed added that her volunteer program with the legal center provided Spanish documents to the migrant families, but they couldn’t under that either.

“Simple translation is not enough,” she wrote. “The Dilley Pro Bono Project provides documents in Spanish, but even this paperwork was difficult for many migrant women to understand. Many women I helped to fill out paperwork struggled simply to write their children’s birth dates.”

The migrant families are being rushed within the court and legal process, which in turn, is causing deportation to happen a lot faster.

Last year, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reported that the haste paperwork at the border made it possible for immigration officials to rush and deport undocumented immigrants. The ACLU stated this process should not be rushed because people need to take their time and understand what is going on and what it is that they’re signing. 

“This waiting period is crucial to ensure that parents have an opportunity to make an informed decision about whether to fight their own removal cases, leave their children (who may have their own asylum claims) behind in the United States, or make some other decision,” the ACLU stated lasted year. “In short, families will be making life-altering decisions after months of traumatic separation — and the fact that the government is trying to shortchange them a matter of days to do so is galling.”

A New York Times report showed that 58,000 asylum seekers are currently stuck in Mexico under Trump’s policy because they’re awaiting asylum hearings.

The backlog for these asylum hearings is up to six to eight months, and when they’re ready for their hearing the majority of them won’t understand what needs to be done. This is why they need proper representation, and a patient legal system so they comprehend what is being asked of them and what the next steps are. 

What makes this matter even worse is that there’s not enough legal representation for each family unit, or individual, at the border. 

Last year, it was very apparent that there were not enough lawyers or legal help for undocumented immigrants at the border, and this year there’s even more undocumented people awaiting help and attempting to seek asylum. There people like Reed who want to help asylum seekers, but it’s not as easy as they might think. 

“People see the crisis happening, and they want to do something right now, which is great. But when we explain that this is a long-term fight, and we need your long-term commitment. That’s when people sort of back off.” Zenén Jaimes Pérez, the communications director at the Texas Civil Rights Project, told Huffington Post last year. 

If, however, you are willing to put in the time, or you’re interested in learning more about how you can provide legal help, or assist legal teams at the border, please reach out to: the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (“ProBAR”); the Immigration Justice Project (“IJP”); the ACLU of Texas; and RAICES.

READ: Selena Gomez Announces New Netflix Series ‘Living Undocumented’

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

Entertainment

She Went Viral For Insulting The Food In A Mexican Migrant Shelther, Now Lady Frijoles Is A Celebrity Back In Honduras

Qhubo TV / Facebook

On November 2018, Miriam Zelaya became a viral sensation after she criticized the food she was given while waiting for asylum in Mexico. Zelaya was nicknamed Lady Frijoles after making comments about the beans served to her, claiming that it was food for pigs. Embarrassed, she later apologized publicly to the Mexican public for the statements she made. 

The story of Lady Frijoles has taken an interesting turn. 

On March 2019, Zelaya was detained with her sister, Mirna Zelaya, for a violent altercation that occured between them and Alba Escobar, the woman they were living with. The fight took place after Escobar blamed Zelaya and Mirna for the loss of her job. The two sisters were accused of assaulting Escobar with a the butt of a knife and chair; they were detained that same night. 

After being held in jail for almost four months, Zelaya pleaded guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in court. As a result, she received four years of probation and was deported to her home country of Honduras. 

While Zelaya was in jail, her daughters were cared for by close friends and family. 

This week, Lady Frijoles was welcomed back in Honduras like a celebrity.

With only three days of being back in Honduras, Zelaya has been greeted by the media with style; she was even invited to appear on television. 

On the Honduran channel, Q’huboTV, Zelaya gives her version of the night she and her sister got arrested. According to most American media outlets, the dispute was only between the Zelaya sisters and Escobar. However, Zelaya tells a very different story that involves Escobar’s husband Mirna’s son. 

In her interview, Zelaya states that the reason the argument became physical was because Escobar pushed Mirna’s son. She affirms that neither she or her sister grabbed a chair to hurt Escobar, as most news publications have reported, saying that “I can lie to you all, but I will never lie to God.” Instead, it was Escobar who threw the chair at Mirna, which bounced back when Mirna lifted her arms to shield herself, causing Escobar to begin to bleed due to the impact. 

Zelaya refutes every word said about her on other sources, saying that there wasn’t a knife involved in the argument. Rather, Escobar gave the police the knife from her cabinet and claimed that she was assaulted with it. Miriam also clarifies that she was not as involved in the physical fight as the media claims she was. The only reason she got wrapped up in the situation was because Escobar was jealous of Miriam.

“I declared myself guilty more so for my daughters. I was scared that the state was going to take them away and I was going to lose them.”

After being able to meet with a judge to discuss her deportation, the judge let Zelaya know that she was able to fight for her stay in the country, if she could provide herself with a lawyer and the money to post bail. Zelaya responded that she did not have the money to cover the costs because of her lack of resources. The judge then offered to waive the cost of bail, but she must still find a lawyer to defend her. In the end, Miriam accepted her deportation because of her insufficient funds. 

During the programming, Q’huboTV opened up the line for calls directed to Lady Frijoles. Miriam received a lot of mixed reactions. For instance, one caller asked why Miriam would put the lives of her daughters at risk during the long journey from Honduras to the United States. Others tried to debunk all the statements Miriam had said about her case against Escobar. However, many welcomed Miriam back to Honduras and wished her good luck on her journey moving forward. 

On Q’huboTV, Miriam received plenty of support from the network.

For example, the opportunity to provide her daughter with glasses at no cost. Moreover, on live television the general manager of QhuboTV, Mario “Chano” Rivera, officially announced Miriam as a new host of show called “Las Doñas.”

To end the show, Miriam expressed how her fame helped her, but also impacted her negatively, “I never expected to have a job or help for my daughter.”

During a later episode, many viewers were upset about the fact that Miriam received a job offer with Q’huboTV due to her lack of experience and education in the field of media and communications. Both Alicia and Alejandra, Q’huboTV announcers, came to the defense of Miriam and stated that people should not be envious of Miriam or try to not tear her down. They invited Miriam because she is a star due to her fame. 

Either way, Miriam is incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be part of the QhuboTV family.